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I started making Kefir last month and LOVE it! I bought my Kefir grains at Yemoos (not sure how you pronounce it) and Cultured Food Life. I bought at two places for two reasons, one, just in case one didn't survive traveling in the mail, I was sure the other would, and two, I wanted to multiply the Kefir grains, like pronto. I had a limited time to multiply them for my sis and family in California.

Both arrived safe and sound. Here is what I got from Yemoos.

I thought the Certificate of Adoption was a nice touch. I am not super creative with names and had already started calling them my babies so I named them Kefir Babies.

Cultured Foods came in a nice little glass container.

It didn't take long for me to start making yummies with Kefir. Below is my Raspberry Yum, I put 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 Tablespoon Baobab powder, stevia to taste (I put a few doonks), 1 Tablespoon Collagen, and a handful (maybe a cup) of frozen raspberries. I used my hand blender to mix it up and poured it into the jar so it would look all swirly. This jar, the kneck was too thin so I had to transfer it to the blender container.

 It wasn't long before I had lots of yummy Kefir.

More Kefir, at the time of this writing I have 10 gallons in the fridge.

I will slow production down now that I multiplied my Kefir grains but I sure did love straining the Kefir. I looked forward to it every day. At first, I was straining twice a day because it was warm in my house. Then the weather cooled and it went to once a day.

My beautiful grains =)

Below is a little video of a batch that came out really nice.

Did you see Sadie, in the video? She is our new little dog, although she's growing like crazy.

Below is the day we brought here home. She was so big-little.

Fun Schooling: Video School Wednesday

We started a new schedule here at Homeschooling6. In fact, we had our first day Monday the 19th, our first full day anyway. We have been schooling a little here-and-there throughout the summer.

Today, Wednesday, was Video Day, meaning we did Bible, History, and Math using our curricula and videos the rest of the day. On Video Day the kids fill in the Film Study page from their Thinking Tree Journal.

Fun Schooling Video Basket

This is what our day looked like:

7:00 A.M. I woke all the kids up. I was up at 6:00 (I'm not liking it one bit 😜)
8:00 Bible Time, we are using A.C.E New Testament Survey. I read through the lesson. We are also learning God's Names. Normally Bible Time is an hour but on Video Wednesday we shorten our lessons so we can watch lots of videos.
8:30 History - The Good and the Beautiful Level 1. I rotate this, so one day we do history and the next science. Next Wed. maybe a science day.
9:00 Math Time - all the kids get out math books and did 30 minutes of math. Normal time is 40-50 minutes.
10:00 we started late. We were supposed to start at 9:30 but we got distracted.
From 10:00-11:45 we watched:

  1.  A Noble Experiment -with this we are watching the video together and discussing the questions in the workbook. I actually use the Teacher Manual. Today we watched Lesson 2 Foundational Principles
  2. The Presidents - Washington and Adams
  3. Adventure Novel - Lesson  The Heroic Quest
  4. Max McLean -Genesis
12:00 we had lunch!
1:00 the kids completed to pages from their Thinking Tree Journals.
2:00 the kiddos studied AWANA verses and that was it! Normally our "school" ends at 3:00 but on Video Day it's an early day!

Dyslexia Games

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, Dyslexia Games. This therapy program is so unique that it's not only for Dyslexic children. Any child (or adult) can benefit with using Dyslexia Games.

Sarah Janisse Brown, the creator of this one of a kind therapy program, encourages to stop all other forms of Language Arts and use Dyslexia Games only. Dyslexia Games will become your child's temporary Language Arts program.

Visit DyslexiaGames.com

How can it become a temporary Language Arts program?  Dyslexia Games helps your child with concentration, fine motor skills, reading, writing, spelling. The program starts with your child doing logic puzzles. As the child moves through the program the activity pages 'transform' to reading and writing.

The reason Sarah encourages that we have our child stop their formal Language Arts or Phonics/Reading program when using this to help Dyslexic children is so their brains can be in a more "relaxed" mode. The child is not stressed and thus can concentrate and "work" at the logic puzzles to get the left and right sides of the brain working together.

Because this giveaway is for a set of physical books it's opened to U.S. Residents only.

Dyslexia Games Series A

Dyslexia Games Series B

Dyslexia Games Series C

When using Dyslexia Games it is instructed for some of the logic puzzles that your child use a smooth black pen. This is so your child will see a "continuous" line from the art in the book to your child's. Many times (especially the younger ones) your child will get really excited that you (mom/parent) won't be able to notice where their drawing begins from the one in the book.

If your child would like to use another color that is fine too.

To see some peek inside videos you can visit my YouTube Channel.

Dyslexia Games Series

Please visit my Thinking Tree Page to see many of the beautiful journals Sarah Janisse Brown has created for children with Dyslexia, Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, struggling readers, brilliant thinkers, and/or creative learners!

If you'd like to build your homeschooling around Dyslexia Games add a Core Journal (those are the journals that have over 300 pages). That is all! Have your child complete a few pages a day in the Core/Main Journal and do Dyslexia Games.

You can slowly add other subjects in like Spelling, Math, Writing, Geography, and History. Sarah created all her journals to be 'low' stress, so even if a child is using Dyslexia Games, he can use a few of the other journals as well.

See my Thinking Tree page for links to video and written reviews.

Galaxy Grammar

I have an exciting review coming up for you all, Grammar Galaxy!!! I'm so thrilled to introduce this awesome grammar program.

Basically, it teaching grammar through story and with short lessons. The stories and concepts are great for children in 1st-6th grade. You can start your child using the first level Nebula even if he is a beginning reader and writer because the parent will do the reading.

With older children, you can have the child read it to you or use it as a family read aloud.

I think this would pair great with the Thinking Tree Journals. You can use the story and have your child complete the Thinking Tree activity pages like Reading Time, Spelling Time, and Copywork!

If you would like to try a lesson, head on over to Grammar Galaxy and download yours!

I plan to have Lance read the story out loud to me. I'll write more about how we will use Grammar Galaxy along with The Good & the Beautiful Language Arts program.  I hadn't planned on using both programs but again, more about that later.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

My mug for the day ☕ Love Chick-fil-A! Just coffee with cream. Keeping it simple on a Friday.

Saturday's coffee.
Just cream today 🐄 Enjoying coffee from a Darth Vader ☕ mug. This one belongs to Brent. He received the mug as a CHRISTmas gift from his sister.

Monday's coffee: drip coffee with a tablespoon of butter, MCT oil, and a scoop of vanilla bean protein powder.

Tuesday's cup of java: drip coffee with a tablespoon of Kerrygold butter, MCT Oil, and a scoop of Vanilla Bean Protein Powder. Yum! Yup, that's why I'm drinking this yummy coffee in my YUM mug =)

Rainy, thunderyWednesday morning but it cleared up enough for me to take the kids swimming. I had an antioxidant and gelatin-rich coffee, with some healthy fats: butter & MCT Oil in a Snoopy mug.

This coffee and mug arrived in the mail for Josh. He let me be the first to drink out of it. I love the shape, size, and thickness.
Today I used my Aeropress. Made a gelatin rich antioxidant coffee with butter and MCT Oil. I was going to add a scoop of protein powder but wanted to taste the coffee since it was a new brand.

What's in your coffee this morning

Friday's mug (to be determined, haha)

Fun-Schooling with Thinking Tree: 2016-2017 School Year

I was so excited when my daughter Annette started using some Thinking Tree Journals! She uses the journals with her Heart of Dakota books. Annette is an avid reader.

These are just some of the books she used her Junior year of high school. She also picked a lot up at the library. She checked out books about leadership, entrepreneurship, health (particularly about cholesterol and cancer), low glycemic living, biographies, religions, and so much more. I meant to take pictures of them throughout the year and could kick myself for not doing so.
I did take a few but I have to find them in my computer files.

With Annette, it was so easy to let her loose with her books and fun-school with the Thinking Tree Journals. She is what I call a natural learner. It comes so naturally for her. She loves learning. I think it's part of that first born nature. She is our second child but the first born daughter (and only girl), a go-getter!

She used parts of the 10 Subject Portfolio. She loved the geography, history, literature, movie time, and vocabulary pages. We asked Sarah the creator of the Thinking Tree journals if she could make a History Handbook because Annette loved the history pages and wanted something like the Science Handbook. Sarah said she could but unfortunately for Annette, it won't be ready in time for her to use it. So, what my sweet daughter did was copy the history pages and put them in a 3-ring binder.

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

 Below, shows how much she loves learning and how she learns. By writing things down and making timelines and such, it really helps her understand what she is learning.

Annette also used the Science Handbook. I'm really proud of her. She put a lot of effort into her journals.

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree
Annette decided to write about the science tools she was using. This is one way that she makes the journals her own. She doesn't feel like she has to do exactly what it says like, Draw all of Your Science Tools, she is free to use the pages how she wants.
The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

Film Studies section of her Science Handbook! 

We watched Fat Head together.

Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
 Some days all Annette would work on his her illustrations.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
Another day she might work on filling in the timeline.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
Annette would get 'so into' her work that she could spend too much time hand drawing, illustrating and writing. At times she would type things out and print it to speed up her process =) 

Sometimes she would start a page and come back to it later.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
 Below is one she started and will come back to work on it another day. She's just getting our 'outline' of how she wants to use the page for a future date.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by the Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by the Thinking Tree
 I remember seeing her work on these pages. She would draw an outline, add more, erase, add, and so forth. 
 Below is a literature page.
 She would do different things like a character comparison. She took what she learned from Heart of Dakota to fill out these pages.
10 Subject Portfolio by the Thinking Tree

If you are familiar with Heart of Dakota, you know that the program comes with a gorgeous notebook that the child completes that is in full color. My daughter really enjoyed working in the HOD notebooks BUT this year she put her HOD notebook aside and opted to use the Thinking Tree Journals. She absolutely loved filling in the journal pages.

She also noted that with the Thinking Tree Journals she feels she retained and understood history and science better because she was drawing the figures and people. She wrote about them and copied from her books. 

She really, really, enjoyed learning this way and I'm so proud of her. So that's what a natural fun-schooler looks like at our house.

Caleb didn't use the Thinking Tree journal as much as I would have liked. He did start using his Teen Journal when it came out and used the DIY Grammar and Biology. He also used the Spelling Time journal.
He will continue to use the High School Homeschooling Handbook for his Junior Year. He took this book to California (where he is at the time of this writing), so I don't have pictures yet but that's okay, he needs more encouraging with filling out the pages.

Brent is my next Thinking Tree student. He used Travel Dreams to travel around the world.

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams
He is not so natural of a learner as Annette but did enjoy using his Thinking Tree journal as his World Geography course. He mostly used the internet. I would have loved for him to check out books about each city but he mostly used the computer. 
Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Ethan used a variety of Thinking Tree Journals. He completed 8th grade using mainly the Fun-Schooling method.
Ethan is the type of student that needs a push now-and-then, okay, every, single, day. If it were up to him, he'd skip all schooling, even fun-schooling. I really need to check his work all the time otherwise he doesn't get it done.

For his main curriculum Journal, he used the Christian Learning Handbook about three times a week. The United States or the Timeline Journal about two-three times a week.

50 Creative Writing Prompts a few times a week as well to encourage some creativity. His first story was one sentence so you can see what I go through with him, haha. 

He also used Math Genius, How to Make Money (twice a week), and Word Hunt.

Here are a few pictures from Ethan's United States Journal.

United States Journal by the Thinking Tree

United States Journal by the Thinking Tree

Lance my 6th-grade student used a few Thinking Tree Journals as well. I really need to narrow a few down for him because I had too much, hehe.

 His main curriculum journals were the Asperger's and the Autumn ones. He used them several times a week.

The 180 Dinosaur Read, Write, Spell, and Draw is a newer one that just came out. He started it bu I think I'm going to put it aside to use along with the Dino Doodle Journal for next year, for 7th grade. I can't wait to show it to you all, it's really awesome!

For spelling, he went between the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal and the 100 Words

Lance mostly used books I picked out for him. I'd have loved for him to pick out tons of books on his own but like his brothers, he just doesn't. Not sure what is up with my guys, (smile). They do use their school books like Notgrass and A.C.E or whatever else we are using but my goal is to get them picking out what interests them and what they want to learn.